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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    January 6, 2013
    10:30 - 1:59pm EST  

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visceral agricultural programs, subsidies and food stamps. your suggestion is that direct subsidies may not go away, despite some great interest on people's park for that to happen. , the dirty little secret about -- >> the dirty little secret about direct payments is that farmers really like them. they are reluctant to give them up. they agreed to give them up. we will have to see. senator stabenow says we will have another fight over this. >> how about food stamps? >> there has been a push by some conservatives, particularly, in both the house and senate to decouple the food stamp program and some of the nutrition programs, school lunches and whatnot, from the more agricultural parts of the farm bill that people from farm states do not necessarily know, but that has always been part of the bargaining. you get these urban lawmakers to vote for the farm bill in part because of all the benefits that
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come to their poorer constituents. this really there would be no way to get a farm build on at all if you could not get those from densely populated areas to vote for food stamps. >> farm policy is not arcane. washington discussions that we all eat. thank you for being here this week to ask questions of the incoming chairman of the senate agricultural committee. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> today, a look at last week's agreement to avert the fiscal cliff. first, president obama calling on congress to avert middle- class tax cuts followed by republicans responding later the same day. then from new year's day, debate
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over the fiscal cliff and house of representatives. later, the president talking about the fiscal cliff agreement from the white house briefing room. now, president obama on new year's eve, and on congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and middle-class tax hikes. [applause] >> happy new year to you. >> hello, everybody. thank you. everybody have a seat. good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the white house. i realize that the last thing you want to hear on new year's eve is another speech from me. but i do need to talk about the
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progress being made in congress today. for the last few days, leaders of both parties are working toward an agreement that will prevent a middle-class tax hike from hitting 98% of all americans starting tomorrow. preventing that tax hike has been my top priority. the last thing that folks like the folks appear on this stage can afford right now is to pay an extra $2,000 in taxes next year. middle-class families cannot afford it, businesses cannot afford it, our economy cannot afford it. today, it appears an agreement to prevent this new year's tax hike is within sight. but it is not done. there are still issues left to resolve but we are hopeful that congress can get it done. it is not done.
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part of the reason i wanted to speak to all of you today is to make sure that we emphasize to congress and members of both parties understand across america that this is a pressing concern on people's minds. now, the potential agreement that is being talked about would not only make sure the taxes don't go up on middle- class families, it also would extend tax credits for families with children, it would extend our tuition tax credit that has helped millions of families pay for college, it would extend tax credits for clean energy
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companies that are creating jobs, it would extend unemployment insurance to 2 million americans who are actively looking for jobs out there. i have to say that ever since i took office, throughout the campaign, and over the last couple of months, my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain or whatever you want to call it, that solves the deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way that does not just deal with taxes but also spending so that we can put all this behind us and focus on growing our economy. with this congress, that was obviously too much to hope for
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at this time. [laughter] maybe we can do it in stages. we will solve this problem instead in several steps. in 2011, we started reducing the deficit through $1 trillion in spending cuts which have taken place. the agreement being worked on right now would further reduce the deficit by asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay higher taxes for the first time in two decades so that would add additional hundreds of billions of dollars to deficit reduction. that is progress but we will need to do more. keep in mind that just last month, republicans in congress of they would not agree to
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raise tax rates on the wealthiest americans and the agreement being discussed would raise those rates permanently. [applause] keep in mind, we will still have more work to do. we still have deficits that have to be dealt with, we will still have to think about how we put our economy long term project for growth, how we continue to make investments in education and infrastructure that help our economy grow. keep in mind that the threat of tax heights going up is only one part of this so-called fiscal cliff. what we also have facing us starting tomorrow or automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect. keep in mind that some of these spending cuts that congress has said will automatically go into effect have an impact on our defense department but that
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also have an impact on things like head start. there are some programs that are scheduled to be cut. we are using an ax instead of a scalpel. it may not always be the smartest cuts. that is a piece of business that still has to be taken care of. i want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts, those also have to be balanced. my principle has always been to do things in a balanced, responsible way and that means revenues as to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester as well as spending cuts. the same is true for any future deficit agreement. we will have to do more to reduce our debt and deficit.
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i am willing to do more but it will have to be balanced. we will have to do it in a responsible way. i am willing to reduce our government's medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the costs of health care in this country. that is something which all agree on. we want to make sure that medicare is there for future generations but the current trajectory of health care costs is going up so high that we have to find ways to make sure that it is sustainable. that kind of reform has to go hand in hand with doing some more work to reform our tax code so that wealthy individuals, the biggest corporations, cannot take advantage of loopholes and deductions that are not available to most of the folks standing up here for most americans. there is still more work to be done in the tax code to make it fair even as we are also looking at how we can strengthen something like medicare. if republicans think i will
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finish the job of the deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, you hear that sometimes, after today that we will try to shove a always spending cuts -- [applause] shoved spending cuts that will hurt seniors or heard students or hurt middle-class families without asking also equivalence sacrifice from millionaires or companies with a lot of lobbyists. if they think that will be the formula for how we solve this thing, they've got another think coming. that is not how it will work. we've got to do this in a balanced, responsible way and if we're going to be serious, then it will have to be a matter of shared sacrifice as long as i'm president. and i will be president for the next four years. [applause] any way -- for now, our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up for middle-class families starting tomorrow. i think that is a modest goal that we can accomplish. democrat and republicans in congress have to get this done but they're not there yet. they are close but they are not
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there yet. one thing we can count on with respect to this congress is that if there is even one second left before you have to do what you are supposed to do, they will use that last second. @ -- as of this point, it looks like i will spend new year's here in d.c. you all will be hanging out in d.c., too. i can come to your house? [laughter] i don't want to spoil the party. the people who are with me here today, people watching at home, they need our leaders in congress to all stay focused on them, not on politics, not on special interests -- they need to be focused on families, students, grandmas, folks who are out there working really, really hard and are just looking for a fair shot and some reward for that hard work.
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they expect our leaders to succeed on their behalf and satellite. keep the pressure on over the next and let's see if we can get this thing done and i thank you all and if i don't show up at your house, i want to wish everybody a happy new year. thank you very much. [applause] >> mr. president, i just finished watching the president's remarks in the executive office building and i'm not sure yet, as i sort out
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my impressions of the president's remarks, whether to be angry or sad. i've been around this town for a number of years, and as is well known, i had an interest in the presidency more than academic and i've watched a lot of presidents, going back to president reagan from the standpoint of a member of congress. and i've watched these other crises as we go through them, whether it be the potential shutdown of the government when newt gingrich was speaker of the house, we've seen these other crises as the debt limit expired and a number of others. and it's sometimes unfortunately a way -- the way we do business here. but i must say at a time of crisis, on new year's eve when at midnight at least certain actions take place or have to be
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planned to take place, we have the president of the united states go over and have a cheerleading, ridiculing of republicans' exercise in speaking to the people of the united states of america. as i watched other presidents address crises, the way that they were able to address them and resolve them with presidential leadership -- and that's why we elect presidents, to lead -- they did it by calling the leaders of both parties to the white house and sit around the table and do the negotiations and the discussions and they are sometimes concessions have to be made, compromises have to be made. so what did the president of the united states just do? well, he kind of made fun, he made a couple of jokes, laughed about how people are going to be here for new year's, sent a
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message of confrontation to the republicans, i believe he said if they think they're going to do that, then they've got another thought coming. i guess i have to wonder, and i think the american people have to wonder whether the president really wants this issue resolved or is it to his short-term political benefit for us to go over the cliff? i can assure the president of the united states, i can assure him that historians judge presidents by their achievements. we all read the polls. we all, republicans, know what is in the polls. and that is the majority of the american people, 50-some percent approve the president of the united states. we also see the approval ratings of congress, 10%, 12%, 15%, and i haven't seen one that high
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lately but historians judge presidents by what happens on their watch. and for the president to go out and make comments which clearly, which clearly will antagonize members of the house, we are a bicameral government here, and will clearly antagonize them because once we get an agreement, and i appreciate the negotiations that have been going on here in the senate between the majority leader and the republican leader. the fact is that whatever is done and whatever is agreed to has to be ratified by the house of representatives. men and women who were elected on the premise, promising their constituents that they wouldn't raise taxes. now, whether they should have made that commitment or not, whether that was the right thing to do, the fact is that that's what they said. so the president basically in
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his talk to whoever it is that group of people he was talking to had who were laughing and cheering and applauding, as we are on the brink of this -- of this collapse of this incredible problem this creates for men and women all over -- all of our citizens, so what he was saying is to the republicans on both sides of the aisle but particularly in the house of representatives, take it or leave it. that's not the way presidents should lead. this -- these are draconian effects. now, whether we should be at this cliff or not is another discussion for the scholars in years to come. but we are where we are. frantic discussions are going on. went on in the middle of the night last night. so what's the president of the united states doing? in the middle of this, hopefully they're reaching, there was, as i understand it, a very one major issue remaining
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, he comes out and calls people together and has a group standing behind him, laughs and jokes and ridicules republicans. why? why would the president of the united states want to do that? and i want to say a word about sequestration. sequestration is about to kick in. the pentagon and our defense department is like a giant oil tanker. you got to turn it around in a very difficult and slow manner, because they have to make plans and they have to have contingencies -- procurement of weapons, have to do all the things that are necessary to make sure our men and women who are serving in the military are the best trained, best equipped and most professional in the world, which they are. but we're looking at sequestration here when the department of defense says it will decimate our adilt -- ability to defend this nation.
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shouldn't the president of the united states be concerned about that? but what is his own secretary of defense is saying and what his own chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, his selection, is saying. instead, we kind of joke around and tell people they're going to be here fear new year's eve. that's not the way to lead this nation. so i come to the floor and say to my colleagues, we need to get this done. we all know that we need to get this done. we go over the cliff, we're going to disappoint the people that we are elected to represent and we will disappoint them mightily as we already have. but i also say it is the time for presidential leadership. it's time to stop the cheerleading. it's time to stop the campaigning. the president won. we all know that. he won fair and square. but isn't it now time to govern, and isn't the best way to govern to sit down with people from the other party and
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from both houses and say this is an issue we must resolve for the good of the american people? so i hope that, again, the president will spend some time with the leaders on borat parties in the oval office and sitting down, and ironing this -- ironing this out before the people of this country pay a very heavy price. my friend from south carolina was around when we almost went over the cliff the last time, as we were about to shut down the government and it was all kinds of consequences but we pulled back from the brink after going over it, and it was the most serious of all these that i've seen. and i guess i would ask him, isn't it true that in our
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experience that presidents, whether they be republican or democrat, no matter what party or affiliation, going back to the famous ronald reagan and tip o'neill relationship where they sat down together and they saved social security for about 25 years, and it was tough medicine but they did it together, the president of the united states basically dismissed social security and medicare from his list of priorities, and what, as my friend from tennessee pointed out, we have a $16 trillion debt. and for to us say that we're not going to do anything about spending when we all know that spending is the biggest problem we have in this agreement, again, that is throwing kerosene on the fire that's on the other side of the capitol and that's my republican colleagues on the other side of the aisle who have committed and
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pledged to their constituents that we will end this hemaging that -- hemorrhaging that we call spending which has given us the greatest debt in the history of this country. so i guess i would ask my colleague from south carolina, who is usually very modest and reticent in explaining his views particularly in various media outlets of his view on this situation. mr. graham: thank you, senator. i guess my first view is it's better not to go over the cliff than to go over the cliff, but it's also important, as you just said, to understand what we've accomplished. let's assume for a moment and let's hope that this is a good assumption that we reach an agreement by the end of the day, that raises taxes -- tax rates on people that make over $400,000. i don't think that's a good idea because i think it hurts job creation. the better way to get revenue is to eliminate deductions and
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exemptions for businesses and wealthy individuals and take that money back into the treasury, lower tax rates to create jobs and pay down debt. that's what bowles-simpson did. not juan bipartisan group who has tried to solve our debt problem and our spending problem and our revenue problem suggested raising tax rates. bools, a -- bowles-simpson, a bipartisan group, actually lowered tax rates and did it by eliminating deductions and exemptions and they put a lot of money on the debt, they had a 25% corporate rate and the top personal rate was 30%. they took this $1.2 trillion we give out every year in exemptions and deductions to the favored few, they brought it back into the treasury, they paid down debt and they lowered tax rates to help create jobs. this president's approach is the opposite of simpson-bowles and the gang of six. you had six senators, three democrats and three republicans, how did they try
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to solve our long-term problems? they reformed the tax code by eliminating virtually all deductions. they took that money back into the treasury. they paid down debt and they lowered tax rates, just like simpson-bowles. now, this president has taken another path. he wants to raise tax rates to generate revenue. my concern is the higher the tax burdens in america, the less likely to create a job in america. there are better ways to generate revenue. but he's gone his way and he's going to win. hats off to the president for having the courage of your convictions. you said during the campaign you're going to raise tax rates on everybody who made above $250,000, but you're probably not going to get that but it's going to be somewhere around $400,000. the money to be generated, you say you want it to go on the deficit. that's good. yesterday, the proposal by our democratic colleagues was to take that increased revenue from raising tax rates and they spent
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$600 billion on the government. and that's why we don't have a deal. i am willing to swallow my pride and vote for a tax rate increase even though i don't think it's good policy just to save the country from going into the abyss and destroying the military. i'm willing to do that, and i will take some heat but that's the way democracies are. you win some, you lose some. but what i'm not going to do is raise tax rates on anybody and take that additional money to grow the government when we all know we need to get out of debt. that's what was going to happen yesterday. by 2037, the amount of debt we have in the nation will be twice the size of our economy. every child born in america owes $51,000 of debt on the day of their birth. and when you look at medicare, social security and medicaid, the three big spending programs called entitlements, in about 25 years, the cost of those programs are going to consume all the revenue coming into the
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government, and there will be no money for the defense department. so when the president said today that round two will be the debt ceiling, he's right. he won round one, but we have done nothing, as senator mccain indicated, to lower the deficit in any real way. if you took every penny of the money we're generating from raising tax rates for people above $400,000, that's 6% of the national deficit. so that doesn't even begin to solve the problem. so this is a hollow victory, a victory of revenue with no change in the nation's march toward becoming greece, no real reduction in our deficit or our debt. the good news, senator mccain, is that we're one big deal away from dominating the 21st century because america's problems are really less than most other places. the bad news is that that deal is elusive, it requires
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presidential leadership, and i haven't seen much of it, and if we say on the course we're on today, we're going to lose the american dream because your grandchildren and your children cannot pay off the debt you're about to pass on to them. so in about two months, round two begins and we will be asked to raise the debt ceiling. trust me, i don't want to default on our obligations, but in august of 2011, we borrowed $2.1 trillion because we ran out of money and 42 cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed money. if you don't keep borrowing, you will have to cut the government by 42%. nobody suggests that that's a good idea overnight. but here's what i won't do. i won't continue borrowing money unless we address in the process what got us into debt to begin with. so when we have to raise the debt ceiling again, i'm going to make a simple request. let's come up with a plan bipartisan in nature to save
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social security and medicare from bankruptcy because they are going to run out of money and become insolvent in the next 20 years, and let's also create a spending reduction plan that will allow us not to become greece. if you want to raise more revenue by capping deductions, you can count me in because we'll need some more revenue. but in 17 months, ladies and gentlemen, we spent 2.1 trillion. we're burning through money like crazy. it took us 200 years to borrow the first $2 trillion. we spent $2.1 trillion of borrowed money in 17 months. that's got to stop. so to president obama, congratulations on your tax rate increase. you fought hard and you won. i hope i have the courage of my convictions not to raise the debt ceiling until you and others will work with me to find a plan to begin to get us out of debt. so you mentioned medicare today in your speech. i'm glad you did. in 2024, it completely becomes
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insolvent. think of how many people in this country need medicare and will need it 20 years from now. if we don't do something, it's going to run out of money. the age of eligibility for medicare recipients is 65. it hasn't changed one day since 1965 when it was first started. we're all living longer. i propose we adjust the retirement age to 67 over a 10 or 20-year period. that will save the program in many ways. people in my income level, we shouldn't get any money from the government to help buy my prescription drugs. i should pay the full cost because i can afford to. that's called means testing. and this c.p.i. thing you hear a lot about, that's how you evaluate benefits. it needs to be re-evaluated based on real inflation. we're overestimating the cost and it's adding burdens to these programs. so that's kind of technical stuff, but here's what i'm telling you. i am not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling until we do something to save social security and medicare from
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bankruptcy, and i'm not going to borrow a bunch more money that your grandkids will have to pay off without a plan to get out of debt. if that's too much to ask, so be it, but it's not too much to ask of you at home, because if you spend a lot more money than you make, you go to jail. we call it good government. that's got to stop. so round two's coming, and we're going to have one hell of a contest about the direction and the vision of this country. the president we need two months from now is going to be the one who will come down here and talk with us and work with us and not have a press conference, because, mr. president, i want to make you an historic president. i want on your four-year watch for us to change the course of the country. i want to save medicare and social security from insolvency, and i will give you the full credit as a presidential leader if you will help us as a nation to find a way to save these programs from bankruptcy. i want to turn around the spending problem we have that will prevent us from becoming greece, and if you will lead, i will follow, and yes, i will
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raise more revenue in a responsible way, but without you, it's going to be hard for us to get there. so the next time we meet is going to be around the debt ceiling, and the image i want is not a bunch of people behind the president who are clapping for him, but members of congress, republicans and democrats behind the president clapping for the president because he signed a bill that will save all of us from a certain fate. and our fate is being sealed as i talk unless we make changes. we cannot survive on the course we're taking today. the good news is with some bipartisanship and presidential leadership, we still have time to turn around this country and actually dominate the 21st century. it's going to take some pain, it's going to take some sacrifice, but one final story. when i was 21, my mom died. when i was 22, my dad died 15
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months later. we were in -- my family owned a liquor store, a restaurant and a pool room, and everybody i know about politics i learned in the pool room. my sister was 13. we had my uncle take over the businesses. he left the textile industry to run the businesses. we moved in with my aunt and uncle. they never made over $25,000, $30,000 in their entire life. if it weren't for social security survivor benefits for me and my sister, we would have had a hard time majority it. she went to college on pell grants. i am 57. i'm not married. i don't have any kids. i'm part of the problem. that's what's happening all over america. when i was 22, we needed every penny we could get in social security benefits. today, i could easily give up $400 or $500 when i retire and not feel it at all. i could pay more for medicare, and i would. and i'm going to ask people in
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my situation to do that. we just have to have the courage to ask. i think most americans will say yes. so medicare and social security are not programs to me. i know what they do for real people. and if we do nothing, in 2032, which seems forever but it's not, social security becomes insolvent and you have to cut benefits 25% for everybody whether they can afford it or not or raise taxes by 38%, whether the business can afford it or not. and the way you solve that is you reform the programs like ronald reagan and tip o'neill. mr. president, i am willing to play, along with my other republican colleagues, the role of tip o'neill. you just need to play the role of ronald reagan. so the next time we talk about fiscal problems in america, i want a news conference where the president is center stage, not
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surrounded by political activists, surrounded by republicans and democrats who can celebrate accomplishing something that we should all be proud of. they tell me this is the least productive congress in the history of the nation. if it's not, i would hate to be in the one that was. we haven't done a whole lot up here. senator mccain, i know urve here a few years now. -- i know you have been here a few years now. what's your opinion of where we're going as a nation and how we get along with each other? mr. mccain: well, i would say to my friend, first of all, we have had some meetings of a bipartisan fashion to try and improve the process here so that we can move legislation forward. the issue before us i believe right now at nearly 3:00 p.m., nine hours from midnight, and we
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still have not reached an agreement, and the longer it takes for us to reach agreement, the less time we will have examining it and the less time we will have before voting. as the senator from south carolina said, we can't keep doing business like this, and we can't. but on this particular issue, i want to express as i began my disappointment in the president in having a cheerleading rally when we should be sitting down together and resolving this issue. that's what i have seen other presidents, republican and democrat, do. i hope now that the president has made his statement with his cheering section that now he would sit down as presidents have and should work to hammer out this agreement and
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agreements in the future. the presidential campaign is over, he won, congratulations. now let's get down to the serious business of governing this country in a bipartisan fashion. i yield to the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i rise for a moment to associate myself with the remarks of the gentleman from tennessee, the gentleman from arizona and the gentleman from south carolina. and i want to tell a personal story somewhat like the south carolinian told. you know, i made my living my entire life before i got here for 33 years selling houses, causing two people to come together and agree on a price, agree on terms, sign, shake a deal and walk away from a closing table feeling like both of them won. i've also been elected to every legislative body i could be elected to in my state, and i've served in the legislatures for 34 years. i have negotiated deals, been on conference committees, and i never once found myself making a deal by intimidating or insulting the other side. what the president did this afternoon set us back in
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civility and in leadership and in deal making. now, i'm a big enough guy to know i'm not going to take it personally. if the desire was to offend me, the speech did, but if the desire was to deter me, it did not. it is time we all found ways to come together as americans and solve our problems, not just in the short run but in the long run, not fill our room through a partisan's borders but instead cause everybody to sit together around the table and find a way to make a deal. this is the greatest country on the face of this earth, and it will continue to be unless we forget what got us here. what got us here are the american people, not the american politicians. the american businessman, the american entrepreneur, the american worker, the american laborer and the american leader, people who through their sweat, their blood and their toil built businesses, built factories, built companies and made this great enterprise known as the united states of america work. if we want to raise our revenue, sure, you can raise by a percentage looks your revenue by raising your assess many, but if
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you lower your base, your revenue goes down. what we need to do is empower our base by raising the prosperity of the american businessman, the american employee and the american worker, and as their prosperity rises, taxes will go up not because we're charging them more by ratebaugh because they are making more in the rate and what they pays goes up because they are more prosperous. you will never raise the revenue you need by insulting the american people or taking away the incentives to work, make a living, take a risk and be an entrepreneur. so while we had a speech today whose intention i really don't know what it was, it probably protracted and delayed what we're trying to do here today, and that's find a way to come back and fight another day. i agree with senator graham. the big battle is yet to come and it's over the debt ceiling. it's going to be a big battle, and i share every comment and every sentiment that senator graham said because that's the one where we have to find a way to make a deal. and the president is not going to make a deal by poking us in the eye and by charging one side against the other to try to have a win-win proposition.
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i never made a deal if it wasn't a win-win proposition. i always lost a deal when i made it a win-lose proposition. i'm at the table. i continue to negotiate. i want to make this one work, but let's work together, let's find common ground, and in the 12th hour and the 11th hour, let's do what's right for the american people. but i want to thank senator graham, senator corker and senator mccain for their remarks. i associate myself with them. senator mccain, i yield back to you. i yield to the senator from tennessee. mr. mccain: i yield. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i thank the senator from arizona, south carolina and georgia for the comments that they have made. i have already addressed the issue of the speech. i want to talk about two -- and i agree with the comments that have been made by my colleagues here. i want to address the substance.
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we get caught up in terminology here and sometimes talk beyond each other. i don't know what most people are doing today, but the country almost came to a halt in august of 2011 as we negotiated some reductions in spending, $2.1 trillion worth. most people felt like that was not near enough. i know that everybody in this body has been contacted by fix the deck folks and others who think that we need to have a $4.5 trillion to $5 trillion deal that's done here. by the way, i agree 100% and had hoped that's what we were going to be doing during this month, so as the senator from south carolina said, we would have this behind us and we could focus on the tremendous potential this country has. we're not going to do that. but let me go back to august of 2011. we agreed to reduce spending by
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$2.1 trillion of the we implemented some and then we put something off to what's called the sequester, which is what we're -- i'm talking about for a moment here on the floor. is and thafloor. and that sequester was to kick in on january the 1st of this year, tomorrow, in the event we didn't reach agreement on other spending reductions. and i had hoped we would come up with other spending reductions. my friend, the presiding officer, had hoped the same. but we haven't. here's the substance of what the president just said in his speech and that is that since we did not come up with an agreement on spending reductions, we're going to deal with the sequester that kicks in tomorrow, the $1.2 trillion -- the presiding officer: if i could ask the senator -- a senator: if i could ask the senator to yield for just a moment. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the period for morning business for debate only be extended until 5:00 p.m. with
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senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. a senator: i thank the senator. mr. corker: thank you. i see the senator from kentucky who i think most people would rather listen to that be myself so i'm going to yield the floor for a moment as he makes his comments and may come back to the podium. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum call. the senator from tennessee has yielded the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, yesterday, after days of inaction, i came to the floor and noted the obvious, which is that we need to act. but that i needed a dance partner. so i reached out to the vice
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president in an effort to get things done. and i'm happy to report that the effort has been a successful one and, as the president just said in his television appearance, we're very, very close to an agreement. we need to protect american families and job creators from this looming tax hike. everyone agrees that that action is necessary. and i can report that we've reached an agreement on all of the tax -- the tax -- issues. we are very, very close, as the president just said. the most important piece, the piece that has to be done now, is preventing the tax hikes. the president said -- quote -- "for now, our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up for middle-class families starting tomorrow." i agree.
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he suggested that action on the sequester is something we can continue to work on in the coming months. so i agree. let's pass the tax relief portion now, let's take what's been agreed to and get moving. let me say, this was not easy to get to. i mean, the vice president and i last spoke about -- yesterday about 12:45 this morning and then again at 6:30 this morning and then multiple times this morning. this has been clearly a -- a good-faith negotiation. we all want to protect taxpayers and we can get it done now. right now. so let me be clear, we'll continue to work on finding smarter ways to cut spending, but let's not let that hold up protecting americans from the tax hike that will take place in about ten hours.
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ten hours from now. we can do this. we must do this. i want my colleagues to know that we'll keep everybody updated as we continue to try to wrap this up. >> senate passed the bill 89-8. the house debated the package later that evening on new year's day. >> we're making permanent tax policies they originally crafted. back then, despite having a
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majority in the house, the senate, and a republican in the white house, they are only temporary because they refused to join in providing tax relief. after a decade of criticizing tax cuts, the american people and republicans are getting something really important for a permanent tax relief. it is in the first up when it comes to taxes. this legislation settle the level of revenue washington should bring in. we need comprehensive tax reform to create the jobs we need and make american workers competitive in the global marketplace. simply put, the tax code is a
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nightmare. it is too complex, too time- consuming, too costly. they have to hire others to do tax returns because the code is too complicated. if tax compliance where an industry, it would be one of the largest with 6.1 billion hours, 3 million full-time workers. yes, it is too costly. adding to that the fact that the u.s. have the highest corporate tax rate in the oecd and an outdated system of taxation, it is not too difficult to see why they do not see america as a place to hire. nothing changes this. that is why the ways and means
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committee will pursue talks -- comprehensive tax reform. to createstep closer more and higher paid jobs. i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from decision -- michigan, mr. levin. >> this is a bipartisan bill. as we are here today on january 1st, hours away from americans returning to work, markets reopening around the world and all eyes focusing on whether this institution can govern.
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this allows us to get done what we can get done. this bill is vital for our economic well-being. i want to emphasize, for outstanding as the world's economy, it is vital for 114 million middle-class families whose tax cuts are made permanent. it is vital for two million unemployed american workers who need the continuation of their insurance while they continue to look for work. it is vital for 30 million middle-income americans who would otherwise be hit by alternative minimum tax. it is vital for 25 million working families and students benefited from the child tax credit, the earned income tax
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credit, and the american opportunity tax credit which helps families pay for college and it is vital for physicians and millions of their patients who would have been hurt by drastic cuts in medicare reimbursement rates. it is also vital for businesses, to an extension of an important tax provision such as the research and development credit, and also renewable energy incentives that must continue in this great country of ours. and bonus depreciation to encourage business investment. i want to emphasize this, somewhat in contrast to what our chairman has said. this breaks the are narrow barrier that come up for far too long, has prevented additional tax revenues from the very wealthiest. it raises $620 billion in
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revenue by achieving the president's goal by asking the wealthiest 2% of americans to pay more while protecting 98% of families. that's right. that's what it does. 97% -- and i want to emphasize this contrary to propaganda from the other side -- 97% of small businesses will not have a tax increase. this needs to be of this size in view, mr. chairman, of your comments. this package is vital for future deficit reduction efforts. setting the stage for a balanced approach from here on now by delaying sequestration to 1-to-1 relation to sequestration and spending cuts. he claims to be committed to deficit reduction in the
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emphasized several times, and i quote, we have to do this in a balanced, responsible way with the additional revenues of the well as spending cuts. so, i urge its passage. this bill sets the important precedent i mentioned in terms of additional revenue as well as spending cuts. the time is now. we should support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman's time from michigan is reserved. >> i give three minutes to the gentleman from california. >> the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. without objection. >> mr. speaker, i would like to be speaking for this bill, but i
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cannot. in 12 years that i have served in this body, have voted for every tax cuts -- every tax cut. i remember many of my colleagues, many of them friends, who each time i voted they asked where the pay was going, what it was for. mr. speaker, there is $4 trillion in new debt and deficit and there is no pay for nor is there in anticipation for one. to say that two months from now i know congress will be doing what we are doing here today is not so. i can bring myself to do. i would like to vote for this because i vote for lower taxes. the other day in conference, one of my colleagues pointed out that if you are spending the money, you are taxing our future generations.
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we are taxing $1.20 trillion next year. we will not collected, but we are taxing $1.20 trillion in deficit. the chairman of the ways and means committee, rightfully so, said we are also not simplifying the tax code, making it better or fair, getting rid of the nascar loophole, getting rid of the electric motor scooter loophole. we're not getting rid of a lot of tax things that are here, but we are not taking things that the president himself said he would be for, like getting the calculation of the cpi, the consumer price index, which would reduce the deficit going forward. because of what we are not doing, i cannot believe that this tax cut will be followed by
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the spending cuts to offset any part of the $4 trillion we're putting on the backs of future generations. my thanks to all of you who will vote for this, but i cannot bring myself to vote for it. >> i yield myself 15 seconds. >> of the democrats on the ways and means committee have said time and time again that the republicans never brought $1 to the table to pay for these tax cuts. they thought that was a way to promote economic growth. how wrong they were. it is now my privilege to yield one minute to a person who has the title of leader who has been so much more than a titular leader who has valiantly lead our efforts and we owe to nancy pelosi a real debt of gratitude for our being where we are today.
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with pleasure, i yield one minute tour distinguished leader, the gentle lady from california. >> the gentle lady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you for your leadership as our ranking member on the ways and means committee and for bringing the clarity to this thinking on this important subject that we're dealing with this evening. my colleagues, many of us began this day with the vice-president coming to the democratic caucus and speaking to was about legislation that passed in the senate last night 89-8. that is absolutely historic. it was legislation that he helped negotiate working with republican and democratic leaders in the senate. it was a remarkable accomplishment because, as we all know, while we share the
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same goals, we sometimes have different paths to achieving them. reconciling are differences was a monumental task, especially with time growing short. we appreciate the leadership of the vice-president. we appreciate the leadership of the republican and democratic leaders in the senate and we -- we think speaker boehner for bringing this to the floor. hopefully we can duplicate the strong bipartisan vote that the legislation received in the senate. why is that important? it's important because the american people told us in the election that they wanted us to work together. they had their differences and they understand this agreement. they also understand compromise. that is what this legislation represents.
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i listened attentively to the previous speaker who said he was voting for the bill was was -- for what was not in it. that is an interesting approach. we can vote for or against all legislation for what is in it or not, but some point you start to balance the equities and where do you come out in terms of making a choice? i hope the choice that the american people will make tonight is to reflect the will and he the call of the american people to work together and follow the lead of the senate with strong bipartisan support. what do they want us to do? they want us to create jobs. they want us to grow the economy. they want us to invest in the indication, reduce the deficit, strength in the middle class. that is what this legislation does.
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it does so in ways that is not complete, but it is an important first step. we talked much about what would happen in the gloom and doom of what would happen if we went over the cliff. i want to talk instead about what happens if we do not go over the cliff. but i believe that we will not, seeing that there is a vote on the role this evening. i believe we will come together with a strong vote for the american people. we will vote for this legislation and pass this in a strong bipartisan way and will increase the confidence of consumers, the markets, the businesses, of the employers to hire more. we will extend unemployment insurance to people who have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. this is very important, not only to those individuals, but to our economy because this is money spent immediately injecting
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demand. we will extend permanent tax relief for the middle class, more than 98% of the american taxpayers, more than 97% of americans will businesses. we will support our middle-class and strengthen it by
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>> we should not have protections. let's get into nickels and dimes. we have done our share and will continue to do it. we want everybody to step up. we have been able to help families in need.
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they earn an average of 2000. many of you, your constituents that taking advantage of that great program. they have been able to use the education tax credits. the chairman will tell you how many times alternative minimum tax comes up. we do nothing about it. 87 some of the family. -- 87% so we can all be proud and happy for a change.
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>> i reserve appears pat. >> i owe you two minutes. >> rise in strong support of the prevention act. congress provides economic security. it is overwhelming bipartisan support and protect seniors access to doctors. it expands affordability. it makes vital investments. it diverts the fiscal cliff that
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might have resulted. we reach a resolution on a major issue facing this congress. there is more work to do. my guess is that it will be just as difficult. it does not mean that it cannot be done. the want to demonstrate that it can. the benefits america's futures. i yelled back. >> i will still reserve. >> i a you one minute. >> thank you. tonight we will pass 83 provisions that remove federal revenue. $3.90 trillion. all of the deficit finance. we will add $64 million this
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year to reduce the deficit. many of us feel deficit does not matter. there is in fish section of our country. we will have none of those resources after we make this vote tonight. we set of three more fiscal cliffs. we have to back on this night
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and regret it. 95% of that will go forward. thank you. >> i know at 0 you one minute. >> region of you one minute. >> a rise today to show you this bill. we have two choices. we prevent us from going over the cliff or we go over the cliff. it never should have come to this. we should have been negotiating a passing a balanced. the american people are fed up with what they see. harry truman back in 1948 when
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he was running for president, a campaign against it. this past three times as many bills. here are at the last minute. we are rushing. as i commend president obama for protecting the middle class. we are going to have to work and meet in a sensible center. the american people do not want it. president obama won reelection campaigning for the middle class. >> i've never seen a compromiser
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everybody that every but -- everything they wanted or that. i certainly do not like everything i see. i certainly did i get everything that i wanted. i do like the fact that senior citizens can go to the doctors because they are being paid a reasonable rate. i do not like the son of the health programs across the country are being cut. i discussed a few phone calls from two constituents. they did all day could do to convince me to vote against this.
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until then do you know that 320,000 people in our state relied upon unemployment insurance, benefits adopted? i do not know how i could face those individuals. no idea that they will have a check in the mail. when i go to church i will know that i will see people with the insurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail. that is one of the reasons why i will vote for this deal because it is good legislation. people need it right now. not next year. not next month. not next month. i yield back. >> i with pleasure yield three
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minutes to another member of our leadership. >> it is tempting to have extreme partisanship and work on the compromise. in reality it is past time that we put aside extreme partisanship. we have seen a narrow political interests placed ahead of the public interest. here we are on new year's night, at the clock running else and the existence of this congress. by reconsidering bipartisan legislation to provide middle- class tax cut.
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in our society. it is well past klein -- time. in to douse 11 i served on the bite in group of both republicans democratic representatives who worked with the vice president on our nation's fiscal issues. we made good progress in those talks until our republican friends walked away, fearing the wrath of the tea party. i also served on the bipartisan joint select committee. it spent countless hours discussing these issues in detail. it is very clear that elements of a fair and balanced plan were
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achievable. at the end of the process republican leaders refuse to compromise and the super committee failed. here we are. i serious concerns because some of the cuts it contains. it does contain the element of fairness. this bill protect the middle class. >> this bill protecting middle- class and working people with a more progressive tax code than we have had in a very long time. it prevents the approach of budget cuts that could do severe damage to our national defense. i hope that the partisanship will end this week.
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ito and with the 112 congress. i am hopeful that the 113 congress can work together toward honorable compromise to get the people's business done. >> we're going to vote. first we want to hear from our lips -- whip. he has worked so hard on these issues for decades. i think him for his leadership. >> there is a time for partisanship and making our political points. that time has been and will be again. that time is not tonight.
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all this have troubled the rest of this country. we have heard our constituents and neighbors say do not have this go over the cliff. they are not sure exactly what that means. they intuitively in deeply feel that it will not be good. we come to this tonight's with almost everyone who said this bill is not perfect. that could be applied to any and all bills. compromise is not the art of protection. by its very definition it contains elements that neither side likes. it also contains pieces of both sides they can embrace.
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what we will do is not only adopt a piece of legislation that will give literally tens of americans the assurance that their taxes will not be reused -- raised, millions of people who through no fault of their own are struggling to find a job and try to keep bread on their table. the insurance -- assurance that we will be there to help. we will come together and do something else. with 30 -- with 37 per five hours to go -- 37.5 hours to go we will show to our constituents that we have the ability to come together to at not as republicans, not at democrats, but as americans. 435 of us sitting here to do the
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best we can realizing that there are 435 point of view that sit in this chamber. we tried to reconcile those differences to create consensus. without a consensus democracy cannot work. there will be time for partisan differences. there will be time for partisan confrontation in days of the 113th congress. this night as the end of the 112th congress, as we have strived mightily to come to agreement with great difficulty in realizing that all of us have very strong feelings i severely a big that this is not and balanced plan.
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>> i regret that this is not a big and balance plan. we have an opportunity to reach such agreements in a bipartisan fashion. we will not reach a balanced plan without bipartisanship. the decisions you have to make will be too difficult. this night we take a step, a positive step. the people watching us on television tonight and reading about their congress tomorrow in seeing that we were able to act, not prickly but in a bipartisan fashion, to try to take a step toward fiscal responsibility, fiscal stability, and caring for those who most need our help in
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this country. i urge my colleagues as the leader of my party in this congress is to support this legislation. not as a democrat. not as a republican. but as an american who understands that our people believed that action is necessary. i would urge all of us as we close this debate to do so in a way that brings us together, not drive us apart. that reaches out to the best in us, not to the partisan in us. mr. speaker, it is time for this congress to come together, addressed this issue, and act together. i yield back the balance of my time.
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>> i yield four minutes to distinguished gentleman from california. >> i think what gets lost in the 32nd sound bites on the fiscal cliff is the royal cliff facing this country. in the form of a massive wave of entitlement obligations. government a county does not tell the whole story. -- accounting and does not tell the whole story. the programs already exceed $86 trillion. by 2004 the entitlement obligations will consume all of the average post-war projected revenue. we have to come to grips. that means every dollar collected by the irs would go to pay social security or
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medicated the reforms. it is unfortunate that the president was not willing to engage on this front. it is unfortunate that the senate leader continues to deny the crisis. on the day of the new year's resolutions let's hope senator reid and president obama resolve to be honest about the crisis our nation faces with a coming wave of entitlement obligations. making these programs solvents, which every economist will tell you is unsustainable. this must be done in 2013. without the legislation before us, millions of americans would see their tax rate go up. that would provide a systemic shock to our already weak
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economy. this plan that we are about to vote on walks and a reduced tax rate for middle-class families that otherwise would have seen $3,000 from go higher taxes on average. it firmly hold down the death tax which impacts so many small businesses. it permanently protect the middle class from the alternative minimum tax. away with a new entitlement program. semipermanent a 15th term-- 15% dividend rate and a 20% rate for those above. that would be very injurious for our economic growth of we allow
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that to happen. tax relief has been achieved. now is the time for the president to work with congress to address government overspending, the underlying problem. i yield back the balance of my time. >> are you ready to close at? >> i regret the last statements. it is not correct to say the president is not interested in deficit reduction. that is not true. it was the republican leadership in this house that walked away from a big package. i think it is troublesome that you come here is saying you're going to vote for this bill by launching an on true
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representation of what has been going on. i wanted to be very clear. my guess is the chairman will talk again that there has been a permanent level of revenue set by this bill. that is not correct. if that is an effort to get a vote on your side, want the record to be clear. i am going to close by reading from the president's statement of yesterday. i want to make clear that any agreement we had to deal with these automatic spending cuts that are being threatened for next month, have to be balanced. my principal has always been
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let's do things in a balanced -- responsible way. the same is true for any future deficit agreement. we're going to have to do marcher reduced our debt and deficit. -- do more to reduce our debt and deficits. it is going to have to be balanced. we're going to have to do it in a balanced way. then he talks about the need to address medicare. >> your time has expired. >> we heard some talk about what this fiscal cliff means. i agree with my friend from maryland. if we did not adjust this fiscal
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cliff issue every single american would see a tax increase. it would be a big tax increase. it would be the biggest in the history of this country. that is why it is so important that we're acting in a permanent way. this is a permanent tax policy. these are permanent tax provisions. it permanently sets the baseline. in permanently said tom much money the government -- set how much money the government can take out of the economy. i think this is helpful. the best way to get out of our debt and deficit is to grow our. years of economic growth.
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we have projected anemic growth in 2013. it is so important that we try to create jobs and we can do that your comprehensive pro- growth tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies a tax code that is far too complex. the tax code is a nightmare. it is getting late enough to have a nightmare. when not only need to grow the economy but we need to address the fundamental causes of our debts and deficits. that is out of control spending. we need to strengthen those programs and make sure they are sustainable. permanent tax policy sets the stage from the fundamental tax reform and a dressing of of
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control spending. >> after the house and senate passed the the fiscal cliff bill the president spoke from the white house. >> a central promise of my campaign for president was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class americans. tonight we've done that. thanks to the votes of democrats and republicans in congress, i will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously had a severe impact on families all across america.
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i want to thank all the leaders of the house and senate. in particular, i want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary vice president joe biden, as well as leader harry reid, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell. everybody worked very hard on this and i appreciate it. and, joe, once again, i want to thank you for your great work. under this law, more than 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up. millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their kids and send them to college. companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research that they do, the investments they make, and the clean energy jobs that they create. and 2 million americans who are out of work but out there looking, pounding the pavement every day, are going to continue to receive unemployment
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benefits as long as they're actively looking for a job. but i think we all recognize this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody. the fact is the deficit is still too high, and we're still investing too little in the things that we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should. and that's why speaker boehner and i originally tried to negotiate a larger agreement that would put this country on a path to paying down its debt while also putting americans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, and providing investments in areas like education and job training. unfortunately, there just wasn't enough support or time for that kind of large agreement in a lame duck session of congress. and that failure comes with a cost, as the messy nature of the process over the past
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several weeks has made business more uncertain and consumers less confident. but we are continuing to chip away at this problem, step by step. last year i signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. tonight's agreement further reduces the deficit by raising $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in america. and there will be more deficit reduction as congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we have now delayed for two months. i want to make this point: as i've demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, i am very open to compromise. i agree with democrats and republicans that the aging population and the rising cost of health care makes medicare the biggest contributor to our deficit.
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i believe we've got to find ways to reform that program without hurting seniors who count on it to survive. and i believe that there's further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate. but we can't simply cut our way to prosperity. cutting spending has to go hand- in-hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most americans. and we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy. so we're going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending. now, one last point i want to
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make -- while i will negotiate over many things, i will not have another debate with this congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed. let me repeat we can't not pay bills that we've already incurred. if congress refuses to give the united states government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic -- far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff. people will remember, back in 2011, the last time this course of action was threatened, our entire recovery was put at risk. consumer confidence plunged. business investment plunged. growth dropped. we can't go down that path again. and today's agreement enshrines, i think, a principle into law that will remain in place as long as i am president: the deficit needs to be reduced in a way that's balanced. everyone pays their fair share. everyone does their part. that's how our economy works best. that's how we grow. the sum total of all the budget agreements we've reached so far proves that there is a path
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forward, that it is possible if we focus not on our politics but on what's right for the country. and the one thing that i think, hopefully, in the new year we'll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much. we can come together as democrats and republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces our deficit, protects our middle class, provides ladders into the middle class for everybody who's willing to work hard. we can find a way to afford the investments that we need to grow and compete. we can settle this debate, or at the very least, not allow it to be so all-consuming all the time that it stops us from meeting a host of other challenges that we face -- creating jobs, boosting incomes, fixing our infrastructure, fixing our immigration system, protecting our planet from the harmful effects of climate change, boosting domestic energy
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production, protecting our kids from the horrors of gun violence. it's not just possible to do these things, it's an obligation to ourselves and to future generations. and i look forward to working with every single member of congress to meet this obligation in the new year. and i hope that everybody now >> the next day the house passed it. the president return to hawaii to rejoin his family on vacation. a copy of the bill was return to the president in any whirred it to be signed in washington. >> tomorrow we will look at the
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impact of the american taxpayer relief act of 2012. first changes to the u.s. tax code. then an analysis of what is in the bill including tax breaks for nascar and plugged in scooters. later a discussion about taxes and fees americans face. ""washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. c-span. >> the big discussion i remember is what is richard nixon going to do? this is like a time bomb. it is a disaster for all of us. >> he came to me and said they
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have brought me a list of 50 names in april. who wants a full investigation. >> it was shortly after the farewell speech that he call me. i cannot remember exactly what he said. he said we forgot one thing. we forgot a resignation letter. i said that is interesting. >> the best way was not for me as a historian. the best way was for the players from that era to tell the story themselves. i thought the best way to do this was to start a video oral history program that involved the watergate drama from the left and right to have them tell
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stories and then to use portions of that in the museum to let visitors understand the complexity. >> the former head of the nixon presidential library details the oral history project tonight at 8:00. >> a look at the opening day of the 113th congress. nancy pelosi appearing with the house democratic women and the capital steps. later speaker gaynor here is a mock swearing in. -- speaker john boehner attends a mocked swearing in.
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[no audio] >> nancy pelosi and the house
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democratic women to a picture on the capitol steps. among the most women serving in the house in u.s. history. it was the first caucus that was not a majority white men with 61 members thing women.
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
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[applause] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] x everybody smile.
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one, two, three. [laughter]
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right here. [laughter] [inaudible conversation] >> ok.
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>> everybody -- 1, 2, 3. last one. >> come on. >> let's go.
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ready. ok.
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last one. let's go. [cheering]
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>> next, nancy pelosi and john boehner deliver remarks at the opening of the 113th congress after their reflections as majority and minority speaker. >> colleagues, it is a high honor to welcome you to the 113th congress. [applause] to our newest members of congress, it is a special
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privilege and honor to welcome you and your families and extend congratulations to the newest members of congress. welcome. [applause] to reach this day, each of us has been strengthened by our faith and our families. with a full and grateful heart, i want to thank my family, my husband of 49 years, paul -- [applause] our children, [lists names] and our grandchildren, represented here today by our --
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by madeleine. and i must thank my constituents in san francisco for giving me the privilege of representing that diverse city in the congress of the united states. each of us here today is truly representative in the truest sense of the word, representing the highest hopes and aspirations of the american people. on new year's eve, some of you, large numbers joined people at the national archives building, where at midnight we observed a 150th anniversary of the signing of the emancipation proclamation. [applause] at midnight, there was the
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announcement of harriet tubman winning the bell. as she rang the bell she said -- now we are free. it was quite an incredible moment. it was one that ushered in what president lincoln would call a new birth of freedom for his era and for generations to come. that transformative moment is a reminder of the best traditions we have is people, the ability and obligation of each generation of americans to renew the promise of our founders. to carry forth of the torture progress. to reignite the american dream. this is who we are as americans. this is the character of our country. this is the strength of our
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democracy. the strength of our democracy rests on a strong and rising middle-class. we have a moral imperative to create good paying jobs here at home for the prosperity of our people as we prepare the infrastructure and reduce the deficit. we must make sure that innovation is at the heart of our success. that we remain first in science, technology, and energy. that the educate and prepare our young people for the jobs of tomorrow and that when we make it in america, all the people can make it in america. the strength of our democracy also demands that we restore the confidence of the american
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people in our political process. we must empower the voters and remove obstacles of participation in democracy. [applause] we must increase the level of civility and reduce the role of money in our elections. in [applause] when we do, we will elect more women, more minorities, more young people to public office. [applause] the american people are what make our country great. by and large [applause] -- by and large the united states is a nation of immigrants who share our patriotism and seek the american dream. the strength of our democracy will be advanced by our bold actions on comprehensive immigration reform.
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[applause] [applause] today we take an oath to protect and defend the constitution, our people, and our freedom. to protect and defend. that is our first responsibility and our democracy requires that we each uphold the duty of keeping americans safe at home, in their schools, and in their neighborhoods. as we mourn the families of newtown, we know that insuring the safety of all americans would be a truly meaningful tribute to the children and teachers of sandy hook elementary school. for the strength of our democracy and strength -- sake
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of our children, let's work together to protect and defend all of our people. [applause] in the same year that president lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, the statute of freedom was unveiled across the capitol dome. that dome continues to be a beacon of freedom to the world and a source of inspiration for all who have had the honor to serve in congress. as we take the oath of office today, let's renew the promise of freedom. let's work in friendship and partnership to live up to the legacy of our founders and the aspirations of our constituents. let us renew the strength of our democracy by reigniting the american dream. as we celebrate this moment, let
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us honor and thank those americans who protect our democracy and secure our freedom, our veterans and men and women in uniform. and their families, and wherever they served. [applause] god bless them, god bless america. thank you. now, the house will continue to be led by a proud son of ohio. a man of conviction and a public servant of resolve. speaker boehner is a leader who has earned the confidence of this conference and the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. [applause] he is a man of faith, faith in
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god, faith in our country, and faith in his family. and as we congratulate him, we also congratulate and thank his wife, debbie, and their two daughters, lindsey, tricia, and the entire boehner family. [applause] speaker boehner, i know all too well that we will not always agree, but i hope with all my heart that we will find common ground at a higher and better place for our country. surely, we can be touched by the better angels of our nation -- nature. surely we can be touched by the better angels of our nature.
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so beautifully expressed by president lincoln. this is the people's house, this is the people's gavel. it represents a sacred trust. may we all feel that trust and make real the ideals of democratic government. with respect for our constitution, with faith in the american people, with hope for the future of our country, i present the people's gavel to the speak a loved -- speaker of the house, john boehner. [applause] god bless you.
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may god bless you, speaker boehner, may god bless this congress, may god always bless the united states of america. my colleagues, the speaker of the house, john boehner. [applause] >> thank you. leader pelosi, thank you for your kind words. members of the house, senate, my wife who is with us today -- thankfully the girls were working. all of you, our fellow countrymen. we meet again at the great port of call of democracy. every two years at this hour the constitution brings a new order
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to this house. it is an interlude for reflection. a glimpse that holds true this. to our new members and families, let me say welcome. [applause] i know you are feeling a bit of struck at this moment. history runs through this building. and now you are among the select few to share in this privilege. for those of you who are returning, who have walked these aisles before, maybe it is time that we get a little bit off struck again. -- off struck -- awestruck again. [applause] the way that our founders envisioned it, the republic would be led by citizens who recognize the blessings that we received, requiring that we give
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something of ourselves. everything depended on this. so, they made each other and their successors swear an oath of allegiance. in a few moments i will take this oath for the 12th time as the representative from the eighth district of ohio. it is word for word the same oath that we all take. it makes no mention of party or faction, contains no reference to agendas. only to the constitution. the one edition that we dare make, as george washington did at the first, is to invoke the assistance of our heavenly father. this covenant makes us servants of austerity and calls us to
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refuse the passing interest and follow the more perfect union. we are sent here not to be something, but to do something. [applause] or, as i like to call it, doing the right thing. it is a big job that comes with big challenges. our government has built up too much debt. our economy is not producing enough jobs. the sun not separate problems. $16 trillion and rising, the national debt is weakening the ship at sea. the american dream is in peril so long is the namesake is weighed down by this anchor of debt. break the hold of that and we begin to settle.
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jobs will come home, confidence will come back. we do this not just to boost gdp or reduce unemployment, but to secure for our children a future of freedom and opportunity. frankly, nothing is more important. as washington wrote in his farewell address -- [applause] as washington wrote in his farewell address, we should not throw upon posterity the burden upon which we ourselves should bear. that burden is ours. so is the opportunity. there is no substitute for the wisdom of the people. we are their servants. as speaker, i pledge to listen and do all that i can to help you all carry out your oath of
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office that we are all about to take. in our hearts we know that it is wrong to pass this on to our grandkids. now we have to be willing, truly willing to make this problem right. public service was never meant to be an easy living. extraordinary challenges demand extraordinary leadership. if you came here to see your name in lights or pass off political victory as some sort of accomplishment, you have come to the wrong place, the door is right behind you. if you have come here humbled by the opportunity to serve, if you have come here to be the determined the voice of the people, if you have come here to carry the standard of leadership demanded not by our constituents, but by the times, then you have come to the right
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place. [applause] there is a time for every purpose under heaven and for the 113th congress, it is a time to rise. when today's verdict is read, it may be said that we well and faithfully did our duty to ensure that freedom will into were and prevail, so help us, god. [applause] thank you, thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> i am now ready to take the
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oath of office and i would ask the dean of the house of representatives to administer the oath of office. >> please raise his right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic? but you will through true faith and allegiance do the same? that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion? and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter? so help you, god? >> i do. >> congratulations, mr. speaker.
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[applause] >> according to the president, the chair will swear the members -- swear the members in en masse. the members will rise and the chair will read the oath of office. do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, bearing allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of the invasion and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter? congratulations, you are now members of the 113th congress.
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[applause] >> now, john boehner, holding a ceremonial swearing-in in with newly returning members of the house of representatives.
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[inaudible]
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[inaudible] [inaudible]
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wow, look at this. >> thank you.
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>> here, put your hand up. there you go. >> are you behaving yourself? >> may be. how's everybody doing?
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thank you. good to see you. don't worry. good job guys. look at this.
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>> i know better. nice to see you. how are you? guys, how are you? here we go. look at this. thank you.
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>> put your right hand here and we are going to look right over here. are you? there you go. >> thanks very much. >> mr. speaker, congratulations. >> thank you.
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go have fun. >> make sure we can all be seen.
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>> good job. here we go. there you go. >> congratulations, sir.
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>> i know how much you hate doing this. >> 37 years old.
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>> i was that clark county hospital.
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>> how are you? >> congratulations.
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>> looking forward to working with you.
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right here. perfect. how are you?
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>> come on over here. all right, got it. perfect.
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>> hello, sir.
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left hand on here, ok? there you go. >> hold this, put your right hand up. >> thank you for helping. appreciate it. there we go, perfect. how are you? nice to meet you. all right, just raise your right hand. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> how are you. >> is that it? >> how is everybody doing? >> hi, how are you? how are you? nice to see you. how are you? >> happy new year to you. glad you are here. aw, betty, standing here all by herself.
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all right, keep coming. there you go.
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thank you. there we go. thank you. here we go. thank you.
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perfect. >> get in here quick. >> come on, get in there.
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>> left hand on the bible. there we go.
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hi, how are you?
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how is everybody? how are you? you are just waiting for something.
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>> mr. speaker, great to be here.
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>> here we go.
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perfect. glad you are all here. welcome. right here. there you go. >> congratulations. >> left hand on the bible, right
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hand up. there you go. good job. all right, perfect. there we go. all right. thank you.
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>> hey. >> this is my eight-year-old. >> (here. left hand here. right-hand up. >> congratulations. >> that's it. all right. perfect. >> thank you. >> big guy. left-hand here, right-hand up. >> congratulations. >> this is my granddaughter, celia. and my daughter-in-law, laura. >> stand here for a picture.
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>> there you go. >> from florida. [laughter] >> wow. >> how are you? >> well, hi. left-hand here, right-hand up.
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>> thank you. congratulations. >> congratulations. >> thank you. back up a little bit. there you go. perfect. >> hello. >> right here.
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all right. perfect. >> good luck, mr. speaker. >> all right. >> congratulations. >> 1, 2, 3. >> perfect. >> nice to meet you. >> how are you?
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>> nice to meet you. >> mr. speaker. >> doing all right? >> smile for us. >> good job. >> perfect. there you go. >> thanks. >> thank you.
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>> left-hand here, right-hand up. here we go. good job.
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>> how are you? >> well, hi, everybody. left-hand here, right-hand up. perfect. >> mr. speaker. >> left-hand here, right-hand up. >> congratulations. >> maggie. >> right here. >> thank you.
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nice meeting you. >> right-hand here. act like a pro. [laughter]
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how are you? >> thank you. >> congratulations. >> hi. there you go. >> i want to take the picture. >> there you go. >> right here on the green spot. right here.
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>> look at eric. >> look at the guy in the white shirt. there you go. [crying] here we go. one more.
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>> mr. speaker, congratulations. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> how are you? >> all right.
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perfect. right-hand up. >> great job. >> left-hand here, right-hand
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up. look at the guy in the white shirt. perfect. how are you? >> one more. >> all right. >> hey, congratulations. >> front and center there. >> how are you? >> there you go. right hand up.
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look at the guy in the white shirt. right here. do it again. left-hand here. i figured it was the wrong one. >> aw, larry. and adulation's. --congratulations. >> how are you? >> how are you? >> great. how are you? >> look at the guy in the white
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shirt. >> look here. on three. >> there we go. [buzzing noise] >> left-hand here, right-hand up. >> there we go. how are you?
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good to see you. >> nice to see you.
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>> there we go. here we go. i. -- hi. >> how are you? >> aw, the whole crowd here. left-hand here right-hand up. >> (right. -- left and right. >> thank you very much. >> mr. speaker. >> right-hand up.
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here we go. still getting organized. how are you? right-hand up. >> hi.
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>> left-hand here, right-hand up. >> look at this way. >> how are you? >> thank you. >> congratulations. >> mr. speaker. >> how are you? >> thank you. >> well, hi. >> mr. speaker, how are you? >> i do this every day. [laughter] >> this is my daughter. >> how are you doing? >> nice to meet you. congratulations.
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>> this is my wife. >> right year in front of me. -- here in front of me. >> look at eric in the white shirt. >> look at that. that was easy. >> three little kids. >> how are you? >> thank you. >> i have these two again on the floor.
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>> thank you.
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>> look at this way. >> all right. >> how are you? >> right-hand up. right here in the middle. >> look at the guy in the white shirt here. >> on three. >> thank you.
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>> nice job. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. speaker. >> right-hand up. perfect. >> thank you. >> hey, how are you? >> hi.
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>> this is my daughter. >> how are you? >> look right here. >> thank you.
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>> thank you. >> where do we go? >> hello. >> left-hand here, right-hand up.
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>> thank you for your help. >> wow. all right. nice to see you. >> thank you. >> how are you? >> good. >> left-hand there, raise your right. look at the guy with the white shirt. there you go. >> how are you?
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>> hi. how are you? >> left-hand. >> thank you. congratulations. >> there you go. >> how are you? >> you might want to move back a little.
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>> there you go. >> thank you.
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>> thank you. >> well, hi. >> well, hi.

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